DACI: Group Decision Making Efficiently and Effectively

5 Min Read
DACI: Group Decision Making Efficiently and Effectively

Working as a group has its advantages. Having different experts share their skills and expertise makes a project less complicated compared to handling it alone. However, making decisions as a group can be a nightmare. Anyone who has been part of a group can attest to that. You have different professionals with conflicting opinions all wanting to be heard. Getting everyone on the same page can be tedious.

Without the right processes, group decision-making can cause conflicts, resource wastage and compromised projects. 

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What does DACI stand for?

What does DACI stand for? It is an acronym:
DACI – Driver, Approver, Contributors, Informed

DACI is one of the leading group decision-making frameworks. The matrix is designed to streamline group decisions, thus saving time. It focuses on clarifying the judgements made in a particularly complex project. This structure is what makes the processes suitable for product managers.

What is DACI?

The model, which was created by Intuit developed in the 1980s, is a variation of the RACI responsibility decision making matrix. It works by assigning roles to different players in a project, that’s how it gets its name. 

The acronym represents the four main roles and responsibilities allocated during a project. RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) works in many situations but the driver-based model is more suited for product management. 

A big reason for this is that product management consists of a lot of moving parts, which come with their challenges. By assigning roles, everyone knows who does what, and that prevents misunderstandings and conflicts. 

Unlike RACI, which focuses on who is responsible for certain tasks, this model is about who drives it to the finish line.

What is Daci in project management?

DACI is a decision making framework that offers great benefit as a project management tool. It helps you clearly define the roles of each member of the team within the project.

DACI defines who has the authority in certain areas of the project giving clarity to make efficient and effective group decisions towards a common goal.

Encouraging collaborative culture and communication channels helps the project progress smoothly. The decision making process is clearly defined and everyone knows who needs to make the decisions as the project moves forward.

The Different Roles in the Model

If you are to make the most use of this group decision-making method, then you must comprehend the distinct responsibilities it assigns.

Driver: The driver is the project manager or leader. His or her role is to push the project forward, the same way you do with a vehicle. However, the driver doesn’t have the mandate to approve decisions. This individual usually provides the information, insights and recommendations to help decision-makers with the calls they need to make.

Approver: Makes the final decision. This person has to check the project quality standards. He is she holds voting rights and can, therefore, pass or veto decisions. Although it’s recommended to have one approver for each decision, it’s not uncommon to have several.

Contributors: Experts in different areas that an organisation consults for various matters. A contributor doesn’t have the power to make any call, but he or she offers valuable input. The decision-makers can’t make well-informed choices if they don’t have opinions from contributors.

Informed: These have no say in what the team does, but they do need to stay up to date about what is happening. These people, groups or organisations have to be aware of a project’s progress because it might affect their work. For example, the marketing department needs to know what the product management team is up to so that it can develop campaigns accordingly.

The Benefits of The Framework

One plus side of the process is that companies know that they are using a tested and proven system. The model lays out the steps and duties to be fulfilled, ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks.

It reduces friction among team members because everyone knows who has what responsibilities. Therefore, it is clear from the get-go who makes the final call, who drives the project and who contributes. By allocating roles, the framework maintains balance by dividing authority.

This framework promotes team communication. Drivers have to stay in touch with approvers, contributors and the informed for the process to work.

DACI is an effective process that companies can use to help groups make decisions more efficiently. For the model to work, all roles and responsibilities must be understood clearly so that team members know what is expected of them.

What is the difference between Daci and Raci?

Both are decisions making methods but the key difference is who makes a decision about a project, task or process

The first difference is the “D” Driver where “R” is Responsible

R: Who is responsible for completing the project goal?
D: Who drives the decision to reach the goal?

Another difference is the “A” role, one is being accountable vs. an approver. 
Accountable defines who is accountable for making sure the project/task is complete? Whereas Approver is who approves a  decision in the process?

Otherwise, in general, DACI is very similar to RACI.

Decision-Making Methods

There are many decision-making methodologies:

DACI (Driver, Approver, Contributor, Informed) was created by Intuit in the 1980s.

RAPID (Recommend, Agree, Perform, Input, Decide) created by Bain & Company.

RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed)

ARCI (Accountable, Responsible, Consulted, Informed)

RASCI (Responsible, Accountable, Supportive, Consulted, Informed)

Checkify Decision Making Process

In every business process there is a decision process involved. Documenting processes is great but how do you know if it has been completed how you want it done?

Empowering people with clearly defined process documentation and checklists to follow may not be enough and authorisation may be an important part of that process.

Here at Checkify, we understand that clarification of who the decisions makers are is key. 

We allow you to set “approval” needed and specify who must give that approval before the task can be completed. This can include multiple people that must approve the work carried out.

This gives everyone clear defined decision makers, accountability and traceability in any business process.

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